Artificial-life geeks rejoice: a new entry to the Creatures series is finally underway, and it's coming to iOS.

Details are still pretty light, but it looks like Creatures 4 is going to be free to play. It's slated to be released later this year on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, as well as PC and Mac. It's being developed by Fishing Cactus, a Belgian development studio with quite a few solid titles under their belts.

I'm a bit nervous about the whole "free to play" thing, but it doesn't sound like Creatures 4 is going to be gutted and turned casual. Bruno Hurbain, studio manager at Fishing Cactus, says they "are determined to create a new great Creatures chapter, both modern and respectful of what made it the best virtual life simulator game in the first place." Sounds like they're fans, too. We'll take a look later this year and see how the game shapes up.

For those of you who aren't in the know, Creatures is a series of artificial life games from the 90s. You raise cute critters called Norns, teach them basic language and survival skills, and help them evolve and pass their genetic code down over generations. Although the series hasn't seen a major release since 2001, it still has a dedicated core of active players, and a recent Kickstarter for a spiritual followup from one of the original creators did really well. So let's hope this game gives players both new and old something to look forward to.

  • Smack Witlogic

    "I'm a bit nervous about the whole "free to play" thing, but it doesn't sound like Creatures 4 is going to be gutted and turned casual."
    This is my favorite iOS gaming site. I visit multiple times a day, but I'm getting so tired of this meaningless diatribe. Creatures WAS a "casual" game.  And we know, you don't like "Free to Play", which I think you really mean that you don't like "appointment gaming" or you think that it costs to much to extract your desired level of value from the game. But it's like complaining about the weather. It's the market you don't like, not the game or the developer's choice of monetization strategy. If it wasn't a profitable strategy, then developers wouldn't be using it.

    • Anonymous

      I think you might be making a few assumptions about me. I play a lot of free-to-play games, and enjoy them. Sorry if you feel my wording was poorly chosen, though.

      • c0rvusblad3

        I think what the F2P model means is more or less what happened with Docking Station. It was F2P too in the sense you got the Capitilla (sorry is spelling sucks here lol) and 1 Norn breed, the Chi Chi Norns. To have the rest for DS, you had to buy the Creatures 3 game and then the various Norn Packs and solo Grendel Packs to add new freatures to the game aside from the community based Norns/Grendels/Ettins, genetics, and Agents. This is what I am taking out of it for the time being until we get more info

    • Wim Lauryssen

      Creatures WAS a casual game. :p

      • Lady Luck

        It could be played like a casual game, but it's significantly more than that. I doubt that a casual player would even go near the lists of chemicals in the medical chamber.

  • Anonymous

    Had a discussion about this in the forums the other day! -

  • Jeremy Russell

    Both excited and cautious about this. Without Steve Grand behind the AI/AL it's questionable how "alive" these creatures will be.

    • Anonymous

      Didn't Grand leave after the original Creatures? If they used his work in the sequels, they can probably use it in 4 as well - it's probably still the most advanced alife stuff we've got available.

  • Blayke Christian LaRue

    Whoa! I loved the creatures games! YAYYYYY <3

  • Ettin lover

    When I scrolled down and saw this I nearly fell off my chair! I was in love with these games in the 90's. Too bad I don't think they'll be able to pull off all the 3rd party content that was allowed in the PC versions. MerNorns!!!

  • The Plothole

    The thing that has me worried when I hear "free to play" is that they won't allow user created content. A big draw of the original games.

  • Niki

    Sooooo.. anyone know whatever happened to this?